H&R Block is Born

In July 1955, Henry and Richard created a new company, replacing United Business Company with a new firm that specialized in income tax return preparation: H&R Block, Inc.

They named the company “Block” because their family name, “Bloch,” had always been difficult for people to pronounce and spell. “Block” was simpler and could be spelled phonetically. Within weeks, the company grossed more than $20,000 — nearly a third of the annual volume United Business Company had taken years to develop.

Success prompted Richard to suggest expanding the business to New York City, the next city the IRS had scheduled to discontinue its tax preparation services. H&R Block targeted locations as close as possible to IRS offices and opened seven offices in 1956. In only its second year, the company more than tripled revenues to $65,000.

In any successful business, luck plays a part in the story.